PFC Leslie Lindsay Rice

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NAME:
Leslie Lindsay Rice
NICKNAME: SERVICE NUMBER:
351594
HOME OF RECORD:
Port-Au-Peck, NJ
NEXT OF KIN:
Parents, Lloyd & Helen Rice
DATE OF BIRTH:
~1920
ENLISTED:
January 10, 1942
DATE OF DEATH:
September 25, 1942
(September 17, 1942)
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE FATE
Guadalcanal B/1/1 PFC KIA
CAUSE OF DEATH:
Unknown
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private First Class
STATUS OF REMAINS:
Presumed buried in the field
MEMORIAL:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.


Birth and Early Life:
Leslie Rice was born in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1920. He was raised in New Jersey by Lloyd and Helen Rice, and was living in Port-au-Peck when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Rice enlisted on January 10, 1942, and trained at Parris Island. After graduation, he was assigned to Company B, First Battalion, 1st Marines. The life of a Marine agreed with him, and he was one of only a handful of new recruits to receive a quick promotion to Private First Class in the spring of 1942.

Wartime Service:
Rice served with B/1/1 from New River, North Carolina to their landing on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942. For the next six weeks, he participated in front line fighting from combat patrols to defensive actions, all the while struggling to get used to the demands of combat, environment, and the Corps.

Date Of Loss:
Rice’s platoon was in the lead of a patrol by their parent battalion, 1/1, on the morning of September 17, 1942. They were on the trail of Japanese troops who had recently been defeated in the famous battle of Bloody Ridge, and found them – or, more accurately, were found by them – around 1330 hours that day. The lead platoon ran directly into an ambush, and was completely cut off. After two and a half hours of fighting, the rest of the Marines disengaged, leaving the trapped men to their fate.

Eighteen Marines were lost in the Japanese trap. Their remains were not discovered until September 25, which was officially declared their date of death. Nine of these men – including Leslie Rice – are still listed as missing in action, their ultimate fates unknown. (1)

For more details about this patrol, see Platoon Sergeant Leon W. McStine.

Next Of Kin:
Parents, Lloyd & Helen Rice

Status Of Remains:
Unknown

Memorial:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
_____
NOTES:
(1) No survivors were located by this follow-up patrol, led by Major Marion Fawcett. Although the Marines were likely all killed on the day they were trapped, they were officially declared dead as of September 25.

Why nine remain “missing” is unknown. Some at least were identified when buried, others may have been impossible to identify. Precise details are not known at this time, but it seems likely that the passage of time made some of the graves impossible to locate (a not uncommon occurrence on Guadalcanal). It seems likely that Private Rice is still in a “temporary” grave.

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